Gran fondo is loosely translated from Italian as the big ride.  "GranFUNdo"
    (with apologies to my former Italian friends) is our big bicycle ride to San Diego...
    And you're invited.

       Here's the plan:
  • Make your room reservations at the 500 West Hotel  866-500-7533.  It's funky.  It's fun.  It's not
    for everyone.  Baths down the hall.  It's San Diego's hip layover downtown.  For special tour rates,
    let them know that you are with the bicycle group arriving on Saturday, January 30.  Single rooms
    are $40 and rooms with 2 beds are $59.
  • Tour is unsupported and starts at the Irvine train station on Saturday, January 30 at 0800.  
      That's Italian for 8 am.  We start early because daylight in January is short.    
  • Your overnight bag, vino and other essentials will be transported to the hotel for you.  Please    
    pack small.  
  • Route slips will be provided for both rides.  The complete route on Saturday is about 85 miles.
  • Want a shorter route?  That's easy.  Just take Metrolink's 0900 rapido to Laguna Niguel, SJC,  San
    Clemente or Oceanside.  The distance from Oceanside to San Diego is about 45 miles and has one
    difficult climb... Torrey Pines.  
  • Lunch is on your own.  Make sure that you eat.  There are lots of places to snack along the way.  
  • Happy hour begins at 1700 or 5 pm at the hotel.  BYOB to share.  Then go to dinner with friends.
     You'll find lots of excellent, reasonably priced restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
  • Sunday's ride is a 30 mile flat loop around beautiful San Diego Bay, and a cruise by ferry back to
    the  mainland.  For breakfast, try the hotel's Grand Central Cafe'.  It's convenient, reasonable &
  • Tour concludes.   Return to the hotel.  Clean up.  Eat lunch, load your bike and depart at 1400
      or 2 pm for the Irvine train station.  Bring a foam pipe insulator or blanket to protect your bike.
      It will be transported home with you in the coach's cargo bay.
  • Signed Waiver & Release and a helmet is required to participate.  More later.

    Rain Postponement
         If it rains, your room reservation will automatically be rescheduled for February 13.
       "Gran FUNdo II" is tentatively planned for Saturday, February 13.

    Registration Fee
        $30 registration fee includes...
  • luggage transport to the hotel
  • luxury coach return to the Irvine train station for you & your bike
  • rental van, fuel and parking fees
        Send your $30 check made payable to:   Richard Sheff
                                                                  10 Harborcrest
                                                                  Irvine, CA 92604

    Charity Supported
       The Disabled American Veteran's Trust (DAV)
       To participate in the"Gran FUNdo" San Diego tour, a  minimum donation of $10    
       per person is requested.  Make your contribution to this 4 star rated charity
       by clicking on this link:
       On behalf of those who have given so much:  Thank you!

     A Final Word
    The "Gran FUNdo" tour is designed to be a BIG, fun winter bicycle ride with friends to
    San Diego, and to raise a little money for a worthy charity.  It is planned as a not-for-
    profit event for me... or any other person or group you might have in mind.  The hotel
    is basic, cheap and fits our needs.  Hey, it calls itself "San Diego's coolest hybrid hotel."
    Since Amtrak is unreliable transportation for large groups with bicycles, you will be
    taking a coach back to Irvine.  The registration fee is based on a pro-forma budget
    (scientific wild-assed guess) to cover anticipated expenses for the coach, rental van,
    fuel and parking.   

    Join us and enjoy the ride.        
"Gran FUNdo"
   San Diego
       Saturday, January 30, 2010